Thursday, March 14, 2019

ETDS and PPMS

Walks in the park are numbered


On a cool and windy morning Alegria and I took one of our last walks in the park, and, before you think gloomy thoughts, this is simply because of the seasons in Las Vegas. They go something like this:
WINTER - wind - cold - cool - sunny - cold - colder - unseasonably warm - bone chilling wind biting cold - HOT!
SPRING - rainy - windy - cool (today) - HOT - HOT - WTH happened to spring? - HOTTER than hades HOT
SUMMER - forgettaboutit HOT HOTTTTT AAAAAGH I-want-to-move-to-Northern-Colorado-HOThothothothothot - never-ending HOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!
AUTUMN - drop 30 degrees in one day, usually around beginning to mid November, yes I said November, then see WINTER
So yeah, like the picture, only two "real seasons, the rest is a 2-6 day transition between winter and the long hot hot summer. We are now in those WTH happened to spring 2-6 days, it was 38 F this morning when I left for the walk and 45 F when I returned, and by the end of this week we will hit 80 F.
But that's not the bad part, the bad part is our morning "lows" will rise from 50-60 F in the next few weeks to an unbearable 80-90 F beginning sometime in April to May. No more walks in the park. We still have the mountain, of course!

Which brings me to ETDS and PPMS

The aforementioned dog, Alegria, has ETDS while walking in the park. I have now trained her (or has she trained me?) for four years with dog treats in hand. She now walks to my side when we see a person coming, pretty close to that when we see a person with a dog coming, she sits and asks for a treat with the widest smile a dog can muster (pibbles are notorious for their handsome smiles). If we see a bunny she lets me know she has seen it and has not made a move to chase it, then asks for a treat. If we cross a street, she obediently walks close by my side and then asks for a treat.
Later in the walk, she just asks for treats for no reason and I tell her she has ETDS or Excessive Treat Demand Syndrome. She tells me I'm full of BS and I give her a treat, of course.

PPMS is different and not quite so fun. I suffer from PPMS these days, or Pre/Post Measurement Syndrome. It's a cancer thing. My monthly blood draw revealed a slight rise of my tumor markers, namely CA 27-29 and CEA. Both up just a tad, one more than the other. I was nervous when I went for my blood-letting because I'm always nervous. There is no way to fool the test, there is no way to "tell" if the snake is growing or shrinking; the silent enemy doesn't let me know with pain or fever or any little sign if it is back to gnawing at me or disappearing. Seems it's gnawing again.

I'm a little disappointed at my new super-hero pill (Afinitor, everolimus), failing already after only 3 months, and I am predicting that my Onco will order a PET/CT just to check up on the beast: "to the PET TUBE, young lady!". Appointment is next Monday and I will be sure to update on the outcome. Sigh...
Meantime, this little week between the blood-letting and results and the visit with the Onco is the most mentally excruciating and emotionally draining period of my cancer life. What will they say? Stay tuned.

Incidentally, I have yet to see the results of my lipids test but after seeing my tumor markers, I honestly don't care what my cholesterol looks like these days. I continue on the ketogenic diet as ordered by my MD and hopefully, aside from the stupid cancer-snake, all else looks great.

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